Year 12 Transition: Religious Studies

AQA Religious Studies A level Textbooks and Workbooks




The Sage Train by Nicky Hansell

‘Two dead figures, G.K. Chesterton and Friedrich Nietzsche meet on a remote heavenly path. They don’t get on. The only thing they have in common is some food and a tatty old book. In life Chesterton had been a Catholic. Nietzsche, with his roots in antiquity – had held radically different views. Unable to agree, they decide to visit some Sages and see what they had to say.

This book sets philosophy within fiction. When we walk with J.S Mill in his Avignon garden or see how Immanuel Kant treats the vagabond downstairs  – utilitarianism and the Categorical Imperative are clearly unpicked.  The Sage Train explores the lives of eight, very different, philosophers and the theories for which they are known.

Written for teachers, students and anyone who has wondered how we make our important decisions, brings philosophy to life and helps students remember and evaluate. Most importantly it tells stories – and makes cold and abstract theories accessible and fun.’

Sophie’s world by Jostein Gaarder

‘One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrols in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning—but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.’

Think: A compelling introduction to philosophy by Simon Blackburn

This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them. Think sets out to explain what they are and why they are important. Simon Blackburn begins by putting forward a convincing case for the study of philosophy and goes on to give the reader a sense of how the great historical figures such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein have approached its central themes. Each chapter explains a major issue, and gives the reader a self-contained guide through the problems that philosophers have studied. The large scope of topics covered range from scepticism, the self, mind and body, and freedom to ethics and the arguments surrounding the existence of God. Lively and approachable, this book is ideal for all those who want to learn how the basic techniques of thinking shape our existence

Philosophy: The Basics – Nigel Warburton

‘Philosophy: The Basics gently eases the reader into the world of philosophy. Each chapter considers a key area of philosophy, explaining and exploring the basic ideas and themes.

What is philosophy? Can you prove God exists? Is there an afterlife? How do we know right from wrong? Should you ever break the law? Is the world really the way you think it is? How should we define Freedom of Speech? Do you know how science works? Is your mind different from your body? Can you define art?’

What does it all mean? A very short introduction to philosophy – Thomas Nagel

‘Nagel sets forth the central problems of philosophical inquiry for the beginning student. Arguing that the best way to learn about philosophy is to think about its questions directly, Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems–knowledge of the world beyond our minds, knowledge of other minds, the mind-body problem, free will, the basis of morality, right and wrong, the nature of death, the meaning of life, and the meaning of words. Although he states his own opinions clearly, Nagel leaves these fundamental questions open, allowing students to entertain other solutions and encouraging them to think for themselves.’


Crash Course Philosophy:

The School of Life (Western Philosophy)

The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast

Peter Singer on Animal Ethics